Acosta: Banning CNN reporter a ‘new low’ for the White House

Acosta: Banning CNN reporter a ‘new low’ for the White House
© Greg Nash

CNN's Jim Acosta on Wednesday called the White House's decision to ban a CNN reporter from a press event "a new low for the White House." 

"A new low for the White House," he tweeted. "My colleague ... deserves better than this."

"All journalists covering the [White House] deserve better than this," he added. "As do the American people." 

CNN reported on Wednesday that one of the network's White House reporters, Kaitlan Collins, was barred from a press event in the Rose Garden for asking President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Republicans move to block Yemen war-powers votes for rest of Congress Trump says he's considering 10 to 12 contenders for chief of staff Michael Flynn asks judge to spare him from jail time MORE questions earlier that day.

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Collins was acting as the "pool reporter" for all networks during Trump's meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Wednesday afternoon. During a photo op in the Oval Office, Collins reportedly asked the president questions about the day's most talked-about stories, a typical move for a pool reporter.  

The White House deputy chief of staff for communications Bill Shine and press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders later told Collins that she was not invited to a press availability in the Rose Garden that afternoon because she "shouted" and asked questions that were "inappropriate" for the venue during the Oval Office meeting, according to the CNN report. 

Sanders confirmed that Collins was told she could not participate.

"At the conclusion of a press event in the Oval Office, a reporter shouted questions and refused to leave despite repeatedly being asked to do so," Sanders said in a statement to the White House press pool.

"Subsequently, our staff informed her she was not welcome to participate in the next event, but made clear that any other journalist from her network could attend," Sanders continued.

Sanders said the White House "support[s] a free press" but added that they expect "everyone be respectful of the presidency and guests at the White House." 

Acosta, who has an openly antagonistic relationship with the president, tweeted his condemnation of the White House along with the White House Correspondents' Association (WHCA) statement about the ban. 

“We strongly condemn the White House's misguided and inappropriate decision today to bar one of our members from an open press event after she asked questions they did not like.  This type of retaliation is wholly inappropriate, wrong-headed, and weak,” WHCA President Olivier Knox said in a statement.

This month, Trump refused to take a question from Acosta during another press event, calling CNN "fake news." Trump then turned to Fox reporter John Roberts, who asked him a question.

Later, Roberts released a statement in which he did not mention Acosta by name, but offered support to CNN as a network. 

Fox News has come out in support of its rival CNN in light of Collins's ban, saying it is an issue of access. 

"We stand in strong solidarity with CNN for the right to full access for our journalists as part of a free and unfettered press," Fox News President Jay Wallace said in a statement on Wednesday evening.